what is ec?

What is Emergency Contraception (EC)?

Emergency Contraception or EC is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy after sex.
EC pills contain the same medication as regular birth control pills.
There are two basic types of Emergency Contraception:
    • Plan B® progestin-only pills
    • High doses of regular oral contraceptive pills
It is best to take EC within 24 hours of having unprotected sex. EC may work up to five days after sex, but it is more effective if it is taken earlier. Don’t delay!

Over 95% of the women who take EC do not become pregnant.

Note: Preven discontinued May 2004.

How does EC work?

EC helps prevent pregnancy by:
    • Temporarily stopping eggs from being released,
    • Stopping fertilization, or
    • Stopping a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb.
    • EC WILL NOT cause an abortion (EC is NOT the same as RU-486, the abortion pill)
    • EC WILL NOT harm a developing fetus or affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant in the future
    • EC WILL NOT Prevent from Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or HIV/AIDS

When should I take EC?

Consider using EC if you had sex and:
    • You didn’t use birth control
    • The condom broke
    • You were late for your birth control shot
    • You missed two or more birth control pills in a row or started your pack late
    • Your diaphragm slipped or
    • You were forced to have sex.
EC is not effective as a routine method of contraception.

What are the side effects from taking EC?

Almost all women can safely use EC. There are no long term or serious side effects from using EC.
    • The main side effects are nausea and vomiting. An over-the-counter anti-nausea medicine like, Meclizine can help reduce nausea or vomiting if taken 1 hour before EC.
    • Other side effects may include fatigue, headache, dizziness, and breast tenderness.

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